The first Scottish Atlas of Palliative Care was launched this week by University of Glasgow academics at a major palliative care conference “The Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care annual conference”, in Edinburgh. The Scottish Atlas of Palliative Care contains previously-unavailable data on the availability of palliative care services across Scotland. Until now, Scottish data has been encompassed within UK data. It is the first example of a national atlas of palliative care to be produced anywhere in the world.
This Atlas was produced by the Reverend Dr Hamilton Inbadas and Dr Michelle Gilles in a programme led by Professor David Clark of the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group, based at the University of Glasgow’s Dumfries campus. In a colourful and attractive design, the Atlas contains maps, tables, lists and diagrams, illustrating which services are available in Scotland, at what level, and where.
“The Scottish Atlas (…) presents a picture of the levels of specialist palliative care provided through different types of services, categorised by each health board area. It also offers a useful list of key documents and milestones that capture the development of Scottish palliative care in the areas of policy, education and socio-cultural attitudes”, said Reverend Dr Inbadas, Research Associate in the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group and lead author of the Atlas.
This document responds to a commitment in the Scottish Government’s 2016 Strategic Framework for Action in Palliative and End of Life Care, which in turn was a response to the World Health Assembly resolution in 2014 which requires all governments to recognise palliative care and to make provision for it in their national health policies.
“The Scottish Atlas of Palliative Care will support a range of work in progress to contribute towards our vision that by 2021, everyone in Scotland who needs palliative care will have access to it”, said Craig White, Divisional Clinical Lead at the Scottish Government’s Healthcare Quality and Strategy Directorate.
Definitions of the terms used and the layout of the document are based on those of the existing European Atlas of Palliative Care, making the Scottish data comparable with European data for the first time.
Professor Clark said: “Scotland is not visible in the European Atlas…, and this is something which we wanted to put right. We hope it will inspire other nations to do the same.”
Dr Michelle Gillies, Clinical Lecturer in Public Health at the University of Glasgow, managed the data collection which involved identifying and interviewing service providers and then extracting quantitative data from these narratives. The team will now analyse the Scottish data and compare it with data from the European Atlas, to outline gaps and areas for improvement in Scotland’s palliative care provision.
This World Première was produced by the University of Glasgow with funding from the Scottish Government.
Link to Scottish Atlas:
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